Since today is Flashback Friday, I was reminiscing about my early days as a comic creator. Of course, the first thing that came to mind was Deadlight Studios. It was 2006 and my first creator-owned mini-series, Dead Men Tell No Tales, had been published by Arcana Comics. It was a smash-hit, and I quickly gained a devoted (and awesomely crazy) following.
Around that time I was producing several webcomics, and I had signed one of them, Jim Reaper, to a deal at Silent Devil Productions (remember them?). I was also involved in several anthologies and had many comic pitches in production. I was thrilled to be making comics and I was anxious to reach out and connect with aspiring and established comic creators. But what I really wanted to do was to help newcomers break into the industry. If anyone had been through hell to get there, it was me. Surrounded by naysayers who were the closest to me, and living in a seriously messed up situation, I had done it. And I wanted people to know if they worked hard enough and didn’t give up, they could make it, too. What they needed, I knew, was positive people around them who would encourage and provide a bit of guidance–someone who had seen some success, had a critical eye, and would tell them the truth… even when it hurt.
Enter Deadlight Studios.
What a magical time that was! With my trusty partner in crime, Darrell Mogg, we created a visually stunning website with a lively and thriving community forum. A couple of times I even got my buddies, Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith, to drop by and say hello!
My good friend, Amer Kokh, provided the art for the site together with friend and Dead Men Tell No Tales colorist, Michael DeVito. I never could have made it happen by myself. These friends caught my vision and helped me make it happen. It was a magical collaboration and I’ll never forget the experience of bringing it together and giving it life.
During the course of our conversation I brought up the idea of putting together a horror anthology titled Deadlight Theatre. The forums were abuzz and it was really a wonderful time as forum members put together teams and created several short horror stories for the anthology. Everyone was excited.
And then it was gone. People were shocked.
The truth of the matter is that I was being medically separated from the Army and at the same time, I assumed sole responsibility of my three young sons, so Deadlight Studios took a back seat to raising them. I was unable to keep it going and give my sons the care they needed, and as any single dad will tell you, they would have done the same thing. Some people understood, some people didn’t. But no one was more disappointed than I was.
Some people on the outside say it was a noble idea to create a community where comic creators help one other. I mean, there are others who have done something similar, but none of them were headed up by an industry insider. Some might say it was a dumb idea, that I should have concentrated on my own brand rather than worrying about other “schmucks” trying to break into the industry. Whichever camp you fall into is your prerogative. All I know is that I am still close friends with many fine people I met during the “Deadlight Years,” and I gained invaluable experience that I believe will ensure the success of Hocus Pocus Comics. So I will call it a WIN.
Rest in Peace, Deadlight Studios. You are gone but not forgotten.
Wow! You guys are knocking it out of the park with your support! We are over the moon about the response to our campaign! As soon as we hit our next stretch goal of $2,000, we will be adding an Irving the Rat solo story that has never been seen before as bonus content! Thank you again so much for your support and if you have not pledged yet, you can HERE
Wow! We launched our campaign for the exclusive print edition of The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe on Monday and today, it is not only fully funded, but it continues to gain support! We can’t thank our supporters enough for believing in us and our story, which we feel is very special!
We are not stopping there–we will be posting stretch goals to keep this journey going. Please continue to spread the word and again, thank you so very much! If you have not pledged yet, you can HERE
“Twisted and ominous, yet rich and charming. MacPherson has crafted a complex and enchanting story that blends the macabre and mythological into a strange dream land that is worthy of the great poet and author, Edgar Allan Poe.” – American McGee, Creator and Designer of AMERICAN MCGEE’S ALICE, ALICE: MADNESS RETURNS, and GRIMM
“A beautiful and bizarre adventure into wonder, quirky, lovely and fascinating!” – Kurt Busiek, Multiple Eisner Award-winning creator of ASTRO CITY
“Together in one package, two of the great passions of my youth (that didn’t end there); comics and Edgar Allan Poe. A thrilling adventure with beautiful art. More, please!” – Roderick Gordon, Author of the New York Times Bestselling TUNNELS series
“A glimpse into the enigmatic dreamscape where the great chronicler of mystery and madness, Edgar Allan Poe, meets acclaimed comic creator Dwight L. MacPherson. Readers are in for one wild ride.”– Chris Semtner, Internationally Exhibited Artist, Author, and Curator of the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, VA
Everyone loves a little Poe! We are thrilled to announce the launch of our limited-edition printed version of The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe #1–available only through this campaign–on Kickstarter this morning! Yes, this special edition features a brand-new cover by monster man David Hartman and a Making-Of section designed by Tricia Martin. So please click on the link below to join Master Poo and Irving Rat on their wild adventure in Edgar Allan Poe’s head:
As we reach our goal, we will be sending more exclusive content through updates, so be sure to pledge early so you won’t miss a thing.
You asked for a printed edition and we couldn’t be happier to finally offer it to you. We give you our sincere thanks in advance for your pledges, comments, likes, retweets, shares and support. Together we can make it happen!
You asked, and we’re giving it to you: a special Kickstarter-exclusive printed edition of The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe #1!
The book will feature a brand-new cover by brilliant artist, David Hartman, and a specially-designed Making-of section will never be printed anywhere else. Only in this special edition!
Mark your calendars: we will launch on Kickstarter July 31st, and we’ll need all of our friends to bum rush the project to pledge and spread the news about the campaign to make it successful. I know that, together, we can make it happen, so I thank you in advance! You are awesome!
Rebecca and I had a super busy week and the weekend was no walk in the park, either. But, hey, self-publishing is totally worth it. We have invested our blood, sweat, tears, time, money, and hearts into HP Comics, and I hope our love and dedication shines brightly in every story we tell.
Thank you for your continued support, friends. We couldn’t do this without our amazing patrons and readers!
Have you subscribed to Terra Somnium on Line Webtoon yet? This is the exciting prequel to The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe (Issue 2 is live on ComiXology and Kindle Wednesday, June 28th!) and, if you haven’t, why not? It’s free, it’s awesome, and it will help us more than you can possibly know.
Our good friend and fellow creative, Tammy Fleuch Johnson, designed the logo for Terra Somnium and we love the way it represents our story so perfectly! If you are in need of professional logos or re-branding, please check out her company, Typebird Creative. She is extremely talented, innovative, and wonderful to work with!